Authorities said that an additional attempt to rescue a Bahamas-flagged luxury cruise ship carrying 206 passengers that grounded in the world’s most northern national park in Greenland failed after attempting to use the high tide.
It was the third time the MV Ocean Explorer had been freed. The cruise liner attempted to float free on its own during high tide twice earlier this week, but failed.
On Monday, the cruise liner capsized in the Northeast Greenland National Park’s Alpefjord, which is located above the Arctic Circle. The park’s area is almost as large as all of France and Spain put together, and almost 80% of it is permanently covered with ice. Alpefjord is located around 240 kilometers (149 miles) from Ittoqqortoormiit, the nearest town, which is situated about 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) from Nuuk, the nation’s capital.
On Wednesday morning during high tide, the Tarajoq fisheries research vessel of the Greenland Nature Institute attempted to free the Ocean Explorer.
Danish Joint Arctic Command, which was in charge of organizing the effort to liberate the cruise ship, said, “Unfortunately, the attempt was not successful.”
The larger inspection vessel Knud Rasmussen’s arrival at the site was stated to be the Arctic Command’s “first priority” in a statement. The ship was said to be expecting Friday evening but had to “slow down a bit” on its journey due to the weather.
Passengers from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States are traveling on board the cruise ship, which is run by an Australian company named Aurora Expeditions. It has a bow that is designed like a submarine’s inverted bow. It includes 77 cabins, 151 passenger beds, 99 crew beds, and a number of dining options.
Australian retirees Steven Fraser and Gina Hill were quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian newspaper.
There are “a lot of wealthy older people” on board, and “everyone is in a good mood.” We are in a lovely region of the world, but it is a little annoying,” Fraser was quoted as saying by the daily.
He told the newspaper, “We do have a couple of cases of COVID, but there’s a doctor on board,” and said that he had contracted COVID-19 while on the ship.
Earlier, the Arctic Command said that there were additional ships close to the stranded cruise ship. In the Arctic wilderness, Danish sovereignty is upheld by members of the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol, a Danish naval outfit that undertakes long-range surveillance. The latter went to the ship on Tuesday and reported that everyone was okay and that there had been no reported damage to the ship.
The Joint Arctic Command’s main goal is to protect Danish sovereignty by keeping an eye on the region surrounding Greenland and the Faeroe Islands, particularly the Arctic Ocean to the north. The Faeroe Islands and Greenland are Danish territories that are both semi-independent.